The International Day Of Peace on September 21st inspired The TORONTO WATERFRONT MAGAZINE,Published by Karim Mirshahi in collaboration with The IDEAL ME FOUNDATION,founded by Dr. Ewa Antczak to take a progressive role in tackling the issue of violence in Our community. The key ojective of the festival is to raise awareness of the underlying contributing factors leading to violence, such as bullying,mental health,addictions,social isolation,poverty,rejections of minority groups,etc. Festival For Peace & Film For Peace was announced two years ago on September 13,2018.
It addresses the escalation of violence in a creative way through film ,music, art exhibit, speakers,and cultural exchange.
The 2nd Annual Festival was launched on Friday Sept. 18th to Sept. 20 ,2020 at The magnificent Artscape Center-Daniels Spectrum in Toronto, as well as online ,and what a great Festival it was.
A big part of this festival was Film For Peace. There were 385 Films that entered this amazing Festival from 55 countries, and it was very difficult to make the final selection, as most of the films were very good. The FFP Head Judge,
Frank Caruso who is an established filmmaker and director
Himself had the final say to select 37 films and ultimately choose the winners, after all entries were evaluated and narrowed down by 10 judges.There were several winning categories.
Documentary under 30 minutes was “Sadika’s Garden (Canada),..Best Documentary over 30 minutes “W’at About Us”(Canada )…Best Short Film under 10 minutes “The Mother “(Vietnam )…,and Best Short film under 30 minutes “The Cabin”(France ) is a heartfelt reminiscence of an older World War 2nd survivor recalling while he stares at his Grandchildren, how he stopped both sides from fighting while accidentally playing near His cabin that He built in a tree in the middle of a battlefield…It was a touching scene where soldiers from both sides called a ceasefire and met together to escort the Boy to safety…It was difficult to hold back the tears seeing the Two enemies puting aside Their differences, exchanging friendly conversation, sharing cigarette, and giving to the boy the white flag of truth for protection ..The film concluded with the old man pulling the original white handkerchief out of his pocket that he had been carrying with Him throughout His Life as the soldier told him to. Frank felt that all the 37 runner ups were so good , they all were worthy of an individual Awards.
IDEAL ME ENRICHMENT FOUNDATION together with The TORONTO WATERFRONT MAGAZINE , and YOUTH for HUMAN RIGHTS created the Humanitarian Activist Award for children age 5 to 18 who do inspiring Humanitarian Actions.
Last year Dr.Ewa Antczak Awarded 9 years old Roberta Battaglia ,This year AGT
Finalist, who inspired Her with Her outstanding singing voice, and with Her ability to raise money for Sick Children Hospital by selling Her handmade bracelets.
This years $500 Award was recieved by Remzije Makreshi from Kosovo for Her work with Her impoverished Community,while educating about the problems associated with early marriage , and also about the importance of education.
Throughout The Festival , The President of THE IDEAL ME FOUNDATION, Dr. Ewa Antczak showcased various panel discussions on topics that involved mental health treatment through innovation and technology ,such as Talk2Alex App,created for psychological advice during emotional challenges…There were also panel discussions and presentations exploring the issues of mental health ,Spirituality, Yoga , Meditation ,Human Rights, Ecology,Inner Peace… as well as a lot of amazing videos of notable experts sharing their philosophies and knowledge about related topics.
I would like to mention one video in particular, presented by Isaac Murdoch, an Indigenous Man from The Fish Clan,who in so many beautiful words expressed the need to stop creating anger,and madness by concentrating on tearing down what We believe is ugly, and start to concentrate on building all that is beautiful instead…To build all that brings the Humanity Together in this Global Ecological Colapse…He strongly seeks to unify Global Diversity , to elevate one another and build a stronger future together.He believes that every group has a special unique contribution to make.
As an analogy he used the example of community fire where Everyone brings Their piece of tinder to make the fire stronger without any one person being in charge or taking credit for starting the fire.
It was interesting to hear all the different panelists, and I was intrigued by one in particular …”How To Heal After Break-up” by Tina Tran , a Life Coach,Healing Master,and Dedicated Home Monk Buddist. This Mother of five Children also travels the World to help Heal People. …In Her Q and A Panel Discussion She talked about the importance of sacrifice, the importance of not only blaming the partner, but to look for Your Own faults and mistakes…She also brought up the importance to be sincere with Yourself,and not to blame Yourself for the break-up , to withdraw Yourself from any negativity,to find time for Serenity, to accept that is okay to be single, and love Your Partner unconditionally if You are in relationship..
The key words in Her Speech were – Sacrifice, Empathy, Detachment, Unconditional Love, Help Others,as when You help Others You are not alone….
The Festival For Peace also featured Entertainment that was organized by Elsa Show Jen Hsieh, the amazing Pianist, and founder of Dolce De Soleil…Based on Her beliefs that music comforts, heals and sooths many Souls, She made sure to include all aspects of performance acts. ..She says it’s Her mission to deliver positive influence which has love and purity via music to influence and to communicate the message of change, and that is what She expressed by playing on Her piano during the Festival For Peace and by selecting Her live and video performers for the 3 days of the Festival….There were a lot of great performing Artists. ..
To name a few- Angela Johnson with Her beautiful vocals and piano, Prescilla Una with Her original vocal and original song “Start Good “,The Snooky Tines Soul Express Band with the original song “Dance With Me “,The KLM Sisters Trio ,who sang a capella Jazz renditions, The Physicians Choir that touched many hearts with Their singing amid The COVID 19,…There were two amazing Violinists-Dr.Draw and Viera Zmiyiwsky,Frank Adriano Band ,and the Great Festival MC,Terrence Lushington sung “My Way” accompanied by Angela Johnson on Her Piano…and many more performers from different parts of the World..
Finally an Exhibition of exceptional paintings and sculptures featuring a unique selection of Creative Artists chosen by Angela Kim, who is an Artist and the Art Director of the event.
I was very moved and inspired by the Artists panelists discussions about Their creative process…One of the Artists related that You must in no way censor the creative process …just like a dream that leads itself wherever it will go and merely observes the scenery…For example, Angela Kim’s beautiful painting “Pathway To Heaven “came to Her in a dream during the time of Her mental challenges….She explained to me that to preserve this painting She incorporated hot wax, sand, wood dust, bronze powder….an eternal ecological testimonial to Art.
She related to me about Her Self-Portrait that the flowers covering Her face are not all perfect and beautiful, as She transforms the negativity into beauty through an artistic process. She also told me that She was in denial about Her Asian heritage and by painting Her self portrait ,wearing a traditional Korean outfit and signing it with Her Korean name Hawsol She returned to Her roots.
All in all the 2nd Annual Festival For Peace was a fantastic experience, and I’m looking forward to next year.